The Matrix was a documentary

31 03 2019

Interesting article from The Conversation

Incredible as it may seem, the end of March marks 20 years since the release of the first film in the Matrix franchise directed by The Wachowski siblings. This “cyberpunk” sci-fi movie was a box office hit with its dystopian futuristic vision, distinctive fashion sense, and slick, innovative action sequences. But it was also a catalyst for popular discussion around some very big philosophical themes.

The film centres on a computer hacker, “Neo” (played by Keanu Reeves), who learns that his whole life has been lived within an elaborate, simulated reality. This computer-generated dream world was designed by an artificial intelligence of human creation, which industrially farms human bodies for energy while distracting them via a relatively pleasant parallel reality called the “matrix”.‘Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real?’

This scenario recalls one of western philosophy’s most enduring thought experiments. In a famous passage from Plato’s Republic (ca 380 BCE), Plato has us imagine the human condition as being like a group of prisoners who have lived their lives underground and shackled, so that their experience of reality is limited to shadows projected onto their cave wall.


Read more: The great movie scenes: The Matrix and bullet-time


A freed prisoner, Plato suggests, would be startled to discover the truth about reality, and blinded by the brilliance of the sun. Should he return below, his companions would have no means to understand what he has experienced and surely think him mad. Leaving the captivity of ignorance is difficult.

In The Matrix, Neo is freed by rebel leader Morpheus (ironically, the name of the Greek God of sleep) by being awoken to real life for the first time. But unlike Plato’s prisoner, who discovers the “higher” reality beyond his cave, the world that awaits Neo is both desolate and horrifying.

Our fallible senses

The Matrix recalls several philosophical thought experiments. Warner Bros

The Matrix also trades on more recent philosophical questions famously posed by the 17th century Frenchman René Descartes, concerning our inability to be certain about the evidence of our senses, and our capacity to know anything definite about the world as it really is.

Descartes even noted the difficulty of being certain that human experience is not the result of either a dream or a malevolent systematic deception.

The latter scenario was updated in philosopher Hilary Putnam’s 1981 “brain in a vat” thought experiment, which imagines a scientist electrically manipulating a brain to induce sensations of normal life.


Read more: How do you know you’re not living in a computer simulation?


So ultimately, then, what is reality? The late 20th century French thinker Jean Baudrillard, whose book appears briefly (with an ironic touch) early in the film, wrote extensively on the ways in which contemporary mass society generates sophisticated imitations of reality that become so realistic they are mistaken for reality itself (like mistaking the map for the landscape, or the portrait for the person).

Keanu Reeves and Hugo Weaving in The Matrix. Warner Bros

Of course, there is no need for a matrix-like AI conspiracy to achieve this. We see it now, perhaps even more intensely than 20 years ago, in the dominance of “reality TV” and curated identities of social media.

In some respects, the film appears to be reaching for a view close to that of the 18th century German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, who insisted that our senses do not simply copy the world; rather, reality conforms to the terms of our perception. We only ever experience the world as it is available through the partial spectrum of our senses.

The ethics of freedom

Ultimately, the Matrix trilogy proclaims that free individuals can change the future. But how should that freedom be exercised?

This dilemma is unfolded in the first film’s increasingly notorious red/blue pill scene, which raises the ethics of belief. Neo’s choice is to embrace either the “really real” (as exemplified by the red pill he is offered by Morpheus) or to return to his more normal “reality” (via the blue one).

This quandary was captured in a 1974 thought experiment by American philosopher, Robert Nozick. Given an “experience machine” capable of providing whatever experiences we desire, in a way indistinguishable from “real” ones, should we stubbornly prefer the truth of reality? Or can we feel free to reside within comfortable illusion?


Read more: Why virtual reality cannot match the real thing


In The Matrix we see the rebels resolutely rejecting the comforts of the matrix, preferring grim reality. But we also see the rebel traitor Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) desperately seeking reinsertion into pleasant simulated reality. “Ignorance is bliss,” he affirms.

The film’s chief villain, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), darkly notes that unlike other mammals, (western) humanity insatiably consumes natural resources. The matrix, he suggests, is a “cure” for this human “contagion”.

We have heard much about the potential perils of AI, but perhaps there is something in Agent Smith’s accusation. In raising this tension, The Matrix still strikes a nerve – especially after 20 further years of insatiable consumption.





Awakening From The Matrix

30 08 2018

HOW could I ignore this article for this blog…..!

Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix.

Go to the profile of Caitlin Johnstone

In the movie The Matrix, humans are imprisoned in a virtual world by a powerful artificial intelligence system in a dystopian future. What they take to be reality is actually a computer program that has been jacked into their brains to keep them in a comatose state. They live their whole lives in that virtual simulation, without any way of knowing that what they appear to be experiencing with their senses is actually made of AI-generated code.

Life in our current society is very much the same. The difference is that instead of AI, it’s psychopathic oligarchs who are keeping us asleep in the Matrix. And instead of code, it’s narrative.

Society is made of narrative like the Matrix is made of code. Identity, language, etiquette, social roles, opinions, ideology, religion, ethnicity, philosophy, agendas, rules, laws, money, economics, jobs, hierarchies, politics, government, they’re all purely mental constructs which exist nowhere outside of the mental noises in our heads. If I asked you to point to your knee you could do so instantly and wordlessly, but if I asked you to point to the economy, for example, the closest you could come is using a bunch of linguistic symbols to point to a group of concepts. To show me the economy, you’d have to tell me a story.

Anyone who has ever experienced a moment of mental stillness knows that without the chatter, none of those things are part of your actual present experience. There is no identity, language, etiquette, social roles, opinions, ideology, religion, ethnicity, philosophy, agendas, rules, laws, money, economics, jobs, hierarchies, politics or government in your experience without the mental chatter about those things. There’s not even a “you” anywhere to be found, because it turns out that that’s made of narrative, too.

Without mental narrative, nothing is experienced but sensory impressions appearing to a subject with no clear shape or boundaries. The visual and auditory fields, the sensation of air going in and out of the respiratory system, the feeling of the feet on the ground or the bum in the chair. That’s it. That’s more or less the totality of life minus narrative.

When you add in the mental chatter, however, none of those things tend to occupy a significant amount of interest or attention. Appearances in the visual and auditory field are suddenly divided up and labeled with language, with attention to them determined by whichever threatens or satisfies the various agendas, fears and desires of the conceptual identity construct known as “you”. You can go days, weeks, months or years without really noticing the feeling of your respiratory system or your feet on the ground as your interest and attention gets sucked up into a relationship with society that exists solely as narrative.

“Am I good enough? Am I doing the right thing? Oh man, I hope what I’m trying to do works out. I need to make sure I get all my projects done. If I do that one thing first it might save me some time in the long run. Oh there’s Ashley, I hate that bitch. God I’m so fat and ugly. If I can just get the things that I want and accomplish my important goals I’ll feel okay. Taxes are due soon. What’s on TV? Oh it’s that idiot. How the hell did he get elected anyway? Everyone who made that happen is a Nazi. God I can’t wait for the weekend. I hope everything goes as planned between now and then.”

On and on and on and on. Almost all of our mental energy goes into those mental narratives. They dominate our lives. And, for that reason, people who are able to control those narratives are able to control us.

And they do.

Most people try to exert some degree of control over those around them. They try to influence how those in their family, social and employment circles think of them by behaving and speaking in a certain way. Family members will spend their lives telling other family members over and over again that they’re not as smart/talented/good as they think they are to keep them from becoming too successful and moving away. Romantic partners will be persuaded that they can never leave because no one else will ever love them. To varying degrees, they manipulate the narratives of individuals.

Then there are the people who’ve figured out that they can actually take their ability to influence the way people think about themselves and their world and turn it into personal profit. Cult leaders convince followers to turn over their entire lives in service to them. Advertisers convince consumers that they have a problem or deficiency that can only be solved with This Exciting New Product™. Ambitious rat race participants learn how to climb the corporate ladder by winning favor with the right people and inflicting small acts of sabotage against their competing peers. Ambitious journalists learn that they progress much further in their careers by advancing narratives that favor the establishment upon which the plutocrats who own the big media companies have built their kingdoms. They manipulate the narratives of groups.

And then, there are the oligarchs. The master manipulators. These corporate kings of the modern world have learned the secret that every ruler since the dawn of civilization has known: whoever controls the narratives that are believed by a society is the controller of that society. Identity, language, etiquette, social roles, opinions, ideology, religion, ethnicity, philosophy, agendas, rules, laws, money, economics, jobs, hierarchies, politics, government: all mental constructs which only influence society to the extent that they are believed and subscribed to by a significant majority of the collective. If you have influence over the things that people believe about those mental constructs, you have influence over society. You rule it. The oligarchs manipulate the narratives of entire societies.

This is why there have been book burnings, heretic burnings, and executions for mocking the emperor throughout history: ideas which differ from the dominant narratives about what power is, how money works, who should be in charge and so on are threatening to a ruler’s power in the exact same way that an assassin’s dagger is. At any time, in any kingdom, the people could have decided to take the crown off of their king’s head and place it upon the head of any common beggar and treat him as the new king. And, in every meaningful way, he would be the new king. The only thing preventing this from happening was dominant narratives subscribed to by the society at the time about Divine Right, fealty, loyalty, noble blood and so on. The only thing keeping the crown on a king’s head was narrative.

The exact same thing remains true today; the only thing that has changed is the narratives the public subscribe to. Because of what they are taught in school and what the talking heads on their screens tell them about their nation and their government, most people believe that they live in a relatively free democracy where accountable, temporary power is placed in the hands of a select few based on a voting process informed by the unregulated debate of information and ideas. Completely separate from the government, they believe, is an economy whose behavior is determined by the supply and demand of consumers. In reality, economics, commerce and government are fully controlled by an elite class of plutocrats, who also happen to own the media corporations which broadcast the information about the world onto people’s screens.

Control the narratives of economics and commerce, and you control economics and commerce. Control the narratives about politics and government, and you control politics and government. This control is used by the controllers to funnel power to the oligarchs, in this way effectively turning society into one giant energy farm for the elite class.

But it is possible to wake up from that narrative Matrix.

It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work. Inner work. And humility. Nobody likes acknowledging that they’ve been fooled, and the depth and extent to which we’ve all been fooled is so deeply pervasive it can be tempting to decide that the work is complete far before one is actually free. Mainstream American liberals think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by Fox and Donald Trump, and mainstream American conservatives think they’re clear-eyed because they can see the propaganda strings being pulled by MSNBC and the Democrats, but the propaganda strings on both trace back to the same puppet master. And seeing that is just the beginning.

But, through sincere, humble research and introspection, it is possible to break free of the Matrix and see the full extent to which you and everyone you know has been imprisoned by ideas which have been programmed into social consciousness by the powerful. Not just in our adult lives, but ever since our parents began teaching us how to speak, think and relate to the world. Not just in the modern world, but as far back as history stretches to when the power-serving belief systems of societal structure and religion were promoted by kings and queens of old. All of society, and all of ourselves, and indeed all of the thoughts in our heads, have been shaped by those in power to their benefit. This is the reality that we were born into, and our entire personality structure has been filtered through and shaped by it.

For this reason, escaping from the power-serving propaganda Matrix necessarily means becoming a new creature altogether. The ideas, mental habits and ways of relating to the world which were formed in the Matrix are only useful for moving around inside of it. In order to relate to life outside of the power-promulgated narratives which comprise the very fabric of society, you’ve got to create a whole new operating system for yourself in order to move through life independently of the old programming designed to keep you asleep and controlled.

So it’s hard work. You’ll make a lot of mistakes along the way, just like an infant slowly learning to walk. But, eventually, you get clear of the programming.

And then you’re ready to fight.

Because at some point in this process, you necessarily come upon a deep, howling rage within. Rage at the oligarchic manipulators of your species, yes, but also rage against manipulation in all its forms. Rage against everyone who has ever tried to manipulate your narrative, to make you believe things about yourself or make other people believe things about you. Rage against anyone who manipulates anyone else to any extent. When your eyes are clear manipulation stands out like a black fly on a white sheet of paper, and your entire system has nothing to offer it but revulsion and rejection.

So you set to work. You set to work throwing all attempts to manipulate you as far away from yourself as possible, and expunging anyone from your life who refuses to stop trying to control your narrative. Advertising, mass media propaganda, establishment academia, everything gets purged from your life that wants to pull you back into the Matrix.

And they will try to pull you back in. Because our narratives are so interwoven and interdependent with everyone else’s, and so inseparable from our sense of ourselves, your rejection of the narrative Matrix will present as an existential threat to many of your friends and loved ones. You will see many people you used to trust, many of them very close to you, suddenly transform into a bunch of Agent Smiths right in front of your eyes, and they will shame you, guilt you, throw every manipulation tool they have at you to get you to plug the jack back into your brain. But because your eyes are clear, you’ll see it all. You won’t be fooled.

And then all you’ll want is to tear down the Matrix from its very foundations and plunge its controllers into irrelevance. You will set to work bringing down the propaganda prison that they have built up around your fellow humans in any way you can, bolt by bolt if you have to, because you know from your own experience that we are all capable of so much more than the puny gear-turning existence they’ve got everyone churning away at. You will despise the oligarchs for the obscene sacrilege that they have inflicted upon human majesty out of greed and insecurity, and you will make a mortal enemy of the entire machine that they have used to enslave our species.

And, because their entire kingdom is built upon maintaining the illusion of freedom and democracy, all they will have to fight back against you is narrative. They’ll try to shame you into silence by calling you a conspiracy theorist, they’ll have their media goons and manipulators launch smear campaigns against you, but because your eyes are clear, none of that will work. They’ve got one weapon, and it doesn’t work on you.

And you will set to work waking up humanity from the lie factory, using whatever skills you have, weakening trust in the mass media propaganda machine and opening eyes to new possibilities. And while doing so, you will naturally shine big and bright so the others can find you. And together, we’ll not only smash the narratives that imprison us like a human caterpillar swallowing the narrative bullshit and forcing it into the mouth of the next slave, but we’ll also create new narratives, better narratives, healthier narratives, for ourselves and for each other, about how the world is and what we want it to be.

Because here’s the thing: since it’s all narrative, anything is possible. Those who see this have the ability to plunge toward health and human thriving without any regard for the made-up reasons why such a thing is impossible, and plant seeds of light which sprout in unprecedented directions that never could have been predicted by someone plugged into to establishment how-it-is stories. Together, we can determine how society will be. We can re-write the rules. We are re-writing the rules. It’s begun already.

Out of the white noise of a failing propaganda machine, a new world is being born, one that respects the autonomy of the individual and their right to self-determination. One that respects our right to collaborate on large scales to create beautiful, healthy, helpful systems without the constant sabotage and disruption of a few power-hungry psychopaths who would rather rule than live. One that respects our right to channel human ingenuity into harmony and human thriving instead of warfare and greed. One that respects our right to take what we need, not just to survive but to thrive, and return it to the earth for renewal. One that respects the sovereign boundaries of not just ourselves and each other, but of the planet spaceship that we live in.

Unjack your cortex fully from the fear-soaked narratives of insanity, and let the true beauty of our real world flood your senses. Let the grief of what we have unknowingly done send you crashing to your knees in sorrow. And when you’re ready, stand up. We have much work to do.





The Six Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved

28 07 2016

Just HAD to share this……. Sigmund Fraud, like me, is onto the Matrix and we agree on the metaphor.

I’ve been incognito for several days as I drive yet another ute to Tasmania, but keep your eyes peeled, you will get a full report soon enough!

By Sigmund Fraud / themindunleashed.org

For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the deceptive act is committed, and for the fool, reality then becomes inexplicably built upon on a lie. That is, until the fool wakes up and recognizes the truth in the fact that he has been duped.

Maintaining the suspension of disbelief in the illusion, however, is often more comforting than acknowledging the magician’s secrets.

We live in a world of illusion. So many of the concerns that occupy the mind and the tasks that fill the calendar arise from planted impulses to become someone or something that we are not. This is no accident. As we are indoctrinated into this authoritarian-corporate-consumer culture that now dominates the human race, we are trained that certain aspects of our society are untouchable truths, and that particular ways of being and behaving are preferred.

Psychopaths disempower people in this way. They blind us with never ceasing barrages of suggestions and absolutes that are aimed at shattering self-confidence and confidence in the future.

Bansky, the revered and elusive revolutionary street artist, once commented:

“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small.They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate.They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.” – Banksy

Advertising is just the tip of the iceberg. When we look further we see that the overall organization of life is centered around the pursuit of illusions and automatic obedience to institutions and ideas which are not at all what they seem. We are in a very real sense enslaved. Many call this somewhat intangible feeling of oppression ‘the matrix,’ a system of total control that invades the mind, programming individuals to pattern themselves in accordance with a mainstream conformist version of reality, no matter how wicked it gets.

The grandest of the illusions which keep us enslaved to the matrix, the ones that have so many of us still entranced, are outlined below for your consideration.

1. THE ILLUSION OF LAW, ORDER AND AUTHORITY

For so many of us, following the law is considered a moral obligation, and many of us gladly do so even though corruption, scandal, and wickedness repeatedly demonstrate that the law is plenty flexible for those who have the muscle to bend it. Police brutality and police criminality is rampant in the US, the courts favor the wealthy, and we can no longer even lead our lives privately thanks to the intrusion of state surveillance. And all the while the illegal and immoral Orwellian permanent war rages on in the background of life, murdering and destroying whole nations and cultures.

The social order is not what it seems, for it is entirely predicated on conformity, obedience and acquiescence which are enforced by fear of violence. History teaches us again and again that the law is just as often as not used as an instrument of oppression, social control and plunder, and any so-called authority in this regard is false, hypocritical, and unjust.

When the law itself does not follow the law, there is no law, there is no order, and there is no justice. The pomp and trappings of authority are merely a concealment of the truth that the current world order is predicated on control, not consent.

2. THE ILLUSION OF PROSPERITY AND HAPPINESS

Adorning oneself in expensive clothes and trinkets, and amassing collections of material possessions that would be the envy of any 19th century monarch has become a substitute for genuine prosperity. Maintaining the illusion of prosperity, though, is critical to our economy as it is, because its foundation is built on consumption, fraud, credit and debt. The banking system itself has been engineered from the top down to create unlimited wealth for some while taxing the eternity out of the rest of us.

True prosperity is a vibrant environment and an abundance of health, happiness, love, and relationships. As more people come to perceive material goods as the form of self-identification in this culture, we slip farther and farther away from the experience of true prosperity.

3. THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE AND FREEDOM

Read between the lines and look at the fine print, we are not free, not by any intelligent standard. Freedom is about having choice, yet in today’s world, choice has come to mean a selection between available options, always from within the confines of a corrupt legal and taxation system and within the boundaries of culturally accepted and enforced norms.

Just look no further than the phony institution of modern democracy to find a shining example of false choices appearing real. Two entrenched, corrupt, archaic political parties are paraded as the pride and hope of the nation, yet third party and independent voices are intentionally blocked, ridiculed and plowed under.

The illusion of choice and freedom is a powerful oppressor because it fools us into accepting chains and short leashes as though they were the hallmarks of liberty.

Multiple choice is different than freedom, it is easy servitude.

4. THE ILLUSION OF TRUTH

Truth has become a touchy subject in our culture, and we’ve been programmed to believe that ‘the‘ truth comes from the demigods of media, celebrity, and government. If the TV declares something to be true, then we are heretics to believe otherwise.

In order to maintain order, the powers that be depend our acquiescence to their version of the truth. While independent thinkers and journalists continually blow holes in the official versions of reality, the illusion of truth is so very powerful that it takes a serious personal upheaval to shun the cognitive dissonance needed to function in a society that openly chases false realities.

5. THE ILLUSION OF TIME

They say that time is money, but this is a lie. Time is your life. Your life is an ever-evolving manifestation of the now. Looking beyond the five sense world, where we have been trained to move in accordance with the clock and the calendar, we find that the spirit is eternal, and that the each individual soul is part of this eternity.

The big deception here is the reinforcement of the idea that the present moment is of little to no value, that the past is something we cannot undo or ever forget, and that the future is intrinsically more important than both the past and the present. This carries our attention away from what it actually happening right now and directs it toward the future. Once completely focused on what is to come rather than what is, we are easy prey to advertisers and fear-pimps who muddy our vision of the future with every possible worry and concern imaginable.

We are happiest when life doesn’t box us in, when spontaneity and randomness gives us the chance to find out more about ourselves. Forfeiting the present moment in order to fantasize about the future is a trap. The immense, timeless moments of spiritual joy that are found in quiet meditation are proof that time is a construct of the mind of humankind, and not necessarily mandatory for the human experience.

If time is money, then life can be measured in dollars. When dollars are worth less, so is life. This is total deception, because life is, in truth, absolutely priceless.

6. THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATENESS

On a strategic level, the tactic of divide and conquer is standard operating procedure for authoritarians and invading armies, but the illusion of separateness runs even deeper than this.

We are programmed to believe that as individuals we are in competition with everyone and everything around us, including our neighbors and even mother nature. Us vs. them to the extreme. This flatly denies the truth that life on this planet is infinitely inter-connected. Without clean air, clean water, healthy soil, and a vibrant global sense of community we cannot survive here.

While the illusion of separateness comforts us by gratifying the ego and and offering a sense of control, in reality it only serves to enslave and isolate us.

illusions

CONCLUSION

The grand illusions mentioned here have been staged before us as a campaign to encourage blind acquiescence to the machinations of the matrix. In an attempt to dis-empower us, they demand our conformity and obedience, but we must not forget that all of this is merely an elaborate sales pitch. They can’t sell what we don’t care to buy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he indulges in the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.





15 ways to abandon the Matrix

1 05 2015

I am inspired by the very definition of self-reliance: to be reliant on one’s own capabilities, judgment, or resources. Ultimately, it is the epitome of independence and lays the groundwork of what we are all striving for – to live a life based on our personal principles and beliefs.

It is a concept rooted in the groundwork  that made America great. Being dependent on our own capabilities and resources helped create a strong, plentiful country for so long. That said, the existing country as it is now is entirely different than when it began.

Why Are We So Dependent?

It is much too complicated to get into how the “system” was created. That said, the purpose is to enslave through debt and to create an interdependence that will force you and your family to never truly find the freedom you are seeking. It manipulates and convinces you to continue purchasing as a sort of status symbol to make you think you are living the good life; while all along, it has enslaved you further. Wonder why we have all of these holidays where you have to buy gifts? The system needs to be fed and forces you into further enslavement. If you don’t buy into this facilitated spending spree, you are socially shamed.

Collectively speaking, the contribution from our easy lifestyle and comfort level has created rampant complacency and a population of dependent, self-entitled mediocres. We no longer count on our sound judgement, capabilities and resources. The system keeps everything in working order so we don’t have to depend on ourselves, and furthermore, don’t want to.  I realize that many of the readers here do not fall into this collectivism, as you see through the ideological facade and know that the system is fragile and can crumble.

Breaking away from the system is the only way to avoid the destruction of when it comes crumbling down. When you don’t feed into the manipulation tactics of the system, or enslave yourself to debt, and possess the necessary skills to sustain yourself and your family when large-scale or personal emergencies arise, you will be far better off than those who were dependent on the system. Those who lived during the Great Depression grew up in a time when self-reliance was bred into them and were able to deal with the blow of an economic depression much easier. Which side of this would you want to be on? Those who had the patience to learn the necessary skills, ended up surviving more favorably compared to others who went through the trying times of the Depression.

Develop Personal Dependence

Now is the time to get your hands dirty, to practice a new mindset, skills, make mistakes and keep learning. Developing personal dependence is no easy feat and requires resolute will power to continue on this long and rambling path. To achieve this you have to begin to break away from the confines of the system. You don’t have to run off to the woods to be the lone wolf. Simply by asking yourself, “Will your choices and the way you spend your time lead to more independence down the road, or will it lead to greater dependence?”, will help you gain a greater perspective into being self-reliant. As well, consider ignoring the convenient system altogether. This will help you to detach yourself from complacency and stretch your abilities and your mindset.

Most of us can’t move to an off grid location. We have responsibilities that keep us from doing so. Therefore, live according to what is best for you and your family (common sense, I know) and do what you can. My family and I moved to the rural countryside four years ago to pursue a more self-reliant lifestyle. We learned many lessons along the way and are proud of where we are. Am I 100% self-reliant? No. But, I am venturing closer to living more self-reliantly with each skill I learn. Many of my little homesteading, off-grid ventures can be read about here.

Here’s What You Can Do:

1. Inform Yourself – Understand that there are events on the horizon, some large-scale and some personal that could wreak havoc on your quest toward a self-reliant lifestyle. Informing yourself and planning for them will be your best in staying ahead of the issue.

4 Things You Must Eat to Avoid Malnutrition

Most Likely Ways to Die in a SHTF Event

End of an Era: Prospects Look Bleak For Slowing the Coming Food Crisis

Collapse Survivor: “There Was Little Room For Error… Either You Learn Fast Or End Up Dead”

The Perfect Storm: Grow Local or Grow Hungry?

GMO Labeling: Will Congress Keep Us in the DARK?

2. Learn Skills – When you can depend on your skills to support you and your family’s life, then the outside world doesn’t affect you as much. When large groups of people in a general area possess self-reliant skills, it makes your community stronger.

Doing the Stuff Network

10 Skills Necessary For Survival

49 Outdoor Skills and Projects to Try

As well, look into these DIY projects found on Ready Nutrition

3. Get Out of Debt – It is paramount that each of us begin actively practicing economic self-discipline. Many believe that because of the ease in money confiscations from the banks, you shouldn’t have all of your money stashed there. Diversifying your money and investing in long-term ways to preserve your wealth will ensure you have multiple ways to pay the bills.

How To Break Up With Your Bank

Buy Commodities at Today’s Lower Prices, Consume at Tomorrow’s Higher Prices

Money and Wealth Preservation During Times of Uncertainty and Instability

How to Use Ebay to Find the Most Affordable Silver

Silver Bullion or Junk Silver for Long-term Bartering?

5 Reasons Why There Is Security In Seeds

4. Store food – Having a supply of food to subsist on in times of dire circumstances ensures that you are not dependent on having your basic needs met by someone else. This gives you the control of what food to put in your body and how you want to live.

25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage

Meet Your Emergency Food’s Worst Enemies

Buy The Prepper’s Cookbook

Creating a Bug Out Meal Plan

 5. Start raising your own food – With the high prices of meat at the store these  days, many are turning to raising their own meat sources. Rabbits, chickens and fish can easily be started in backyard homesteads.

How Micro Livestock Can Be Used For Suburban and Rural Sustainability

What to Feed Your Livestock

Child-Friendly Livestock

Waste Not, Want Not: How To Use EVERY Single Part Of An Animal

 6. Prepare for emergencies – Preparing for the unlikely emergencies is a way to insulate yourself from the aftermath. The simplest way to begin preparing is to prepare for the most likely events that can affect you, and go from there.

FREE Emergency Preparedness Guide: 52-Weeks to Preparedness

Anatomy of a Breakdown

SHTF Survival: 10 Survival Tools That Should Be In Your Survival Pack

5 Reasons You Should be Preparing

Buy The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Guide to Prepare You For Any Disaster

Six Ways You Can Keep Yourself Alive With Animal Bones

7. Repurpose – We must take steps to stop being a throw away society and get back to a population who makes do with what they have.

50 Things You Should Stop Buying and Start Making

5 Ways to Make Candles from Household Items

Survival Uses for Household Items

SHTF Planning: 7 Ways to Use The Items Around You To Adapt and Survive

Composting 101

8. Make Your Own Supplies – You have everything around you to survive, but many can’t look outside of the box to see how they can use what they have to survive. Having versatile preparedness supplies saves space and can serve multiple uses that can double up as ingredients to make soaps, medical supplies, etc.

Make soap

3 Ways to Naturally Make Yeast

10 Dehydrator Meals for Your Prepper Pantry

Make Your Own MREs

SHTF Survival: How to Prevent Infections

7 Kitchen Essentials That Deserve To Be On Your Preparedness Shelves

9. Use Up What You Already Have or Find Another Use – Being self-reliant means using up what already have. This is a crucial principle of being self-dependent. Saving leftover construction supplies, food, clothing, etc., can be reused for another day.

Why Everyone Should Have a Rag Bag

8 Slow Cooker Meals Made From Leftovers

10 Household Products You Never Have To Buy Again

Complementing Your Food Storage Pantry with Dehydrated Foods

Five Essential Tools for Fixing Your Clothes on the Cheap

10. Live More Naturally – Life is chaotic these days and many of us feel we have to keep up with everyone else. It’s time to forget that and start living more simply and naturally.

Simply Simplify

 7 Off Grid Projects for Survivalists

Self-Reliance in 4 Steps

Five Eco Friendly Alternatives For Emergency Preparedness

11. Grow Your Own Medicine – With the vast medical advancements in the Western world, we are turning our backs on the first medicine – natural medicine. It’s time we begun exploring a more mindful, natural existence.

30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine

Step-By-Step Guide to Making Colloidal Silver

Essential Oils for SHTF Medical Care

How to Make Dakin’s Solution for SHTF Medical Care

12. Grow Your Own Food – The cost of making healthy decisions about the food we put into our body is eating our budgets alive. We want the very best foods for our family, but buying solely organic products can be costly. All the while, you are questioning the legitimacy of this produce. Is it genetically modified? Where was this grown? Was it exposed to salmonella or another food-borne pathogens? What was the type of water used to grow it? There comes a time when you want to throw your hands up and shout, “That’s it, I’m doing this myself.”

7 Laws of Gardening

25 Survival Seeds You Need For Your Garden

10 Foods You Should Not Feed Your Chickens

Medicinal Plants for the Survival Garden

6 Essential Food Types To Grow Your Own Food Pantry

Make Your Own Herbal Tea Blends

13. Be Flexible – I often tell those who are preparing that the single most important thing you can do is continue to be flexible in your preparedness efforts. Doing so gives you leeway in your planning and backup planning, as well as helps you move more fluidly through the aftermath. This concept can be applied in non-emergencies, as well. Self-reliance can help us be more flexible in our life and our decisions.

 Survival of the Most Adaptable

8 Prepper Principles For a Prepared Mind

Blending In: The Secret to Keeping The Target Off Your Back

5 Survivor Traits That Make a Prepper Successful

5 Steps to Become the Smartest Person in the Woods

14. Barter Better – Bartering for goods and services was the first currency that went around. Let’s be honest, everyone is up for a good deal. Using self-reliant skills, you can use these as leverage in bartering. As well, having a surplus of survival/preparedness items can also help you make good bartering deals.

The Barter Value of Skills

A Free Falling Economy Makes Bartering Go Boom

100 Must Have Survival Items

15. Teach Your Kids – We must teach our children how to be more mindful and self-reliant. After all, we do not want to continue the cycle of having a dependent, self-entitled population. By informing them, we are setting them upon a self-sustaining path for life.

 How Farmers Markets Can Teach Your Kids the Values of Local Food and Community Building

*  *  *

We must come to the understanding that there is no true safety net for us to fall into; it’s up to ourselves to get us out trouble. How easily you land depends on how reliant you were to begin with. Adopting certain concepts as your new life’s code will help you on your path.

Many of us share a common goal: to be free from the shackles of the system. This goal doesn’t come over night. You have to work at it, invest in it and ultimately, change your way of thinking. The point is, we are all at different places in our preparedness efforts, so don’t get discouraged! Continue on the pace, keep learning and step-by-step, you inch closer and closer to that goal.





Capitalism is Just a Story

4 03 2015

I really like this…….





16 Signs That You’re a Slave to the Matrix

3 05 2014

on 2 May, 2014 at 22:00

https://i2.wp.com/themindunleashed.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/slaveeee.jpg

Today’s world is a strange place. We are inundated with signals from early on in life, encouraging each of us to walk a particular path, establishing blinders on us along the way to discourage us from looking for alternatives to what the herd is doing or thinking. Life is so complex that overtime, if we are paying attention, we realize that there are an infinite number of possibilities to what the human experience could be, and we come see that the world is on fire because individuals all too infrequently question why things are the way they are, failing to notice that their mindset or behaviour needs adjustment in favour of more intelligent, common sensical, or sustainable patterns of existence.

Not meant to be overtly critical of anyone’s lifestyle choices or personal situation, the following 16 signs that you’re a slave to the matrix are meant purely as an observational approach to helping you identify the areas of your life where you may be missing an opportunity to liberate yourself from someone else’s self-destructive design for your life.

Read on, and please take a moment to comment below with anything you’d like to add to the list or object to.

sigmund fraud1. You pay taxes to people you’d like to see locked up in jail. This is perhaps the biggest indicator that we are slaves to the matrix. The traditional notion of slavery conjures up images of people in shackles forced to work on plantations to support rich plantation owners. The modern day version of this is forced taxation, where our incomes are automatically docked before we ever see the money, regardless of whether or not we approve of how the money is spent.

2. You go to the doctor, but you’re still sick. Modern medical care, for all of it’s scientific progress, has sadly become sick care, where we are rarely advised to eat well and tend to our mental and physical health, but instead are routinely advised to consume expensive medications and procedures that are pushed by the for-profit healthcare matrix.

3. You’ve picked Team Democrat or Team Republican and argue with your friends, family and co-workers about politics. This is what the control strategy of divide and conquer looks like in our society. Both of the major parties are corrupt through and through, and independent candidates are not even allowed to participate in public debates. By believing in one of these parties and burning your personal energy on arguing with other ordinary people you are turning over your soul the matrix, and doing your share in making sure that ‘we the people’ will never be united against corruption.  [editorial not:  insert Team ALP or Team LNP in the above and you get the same result!]

4. You work hard doing something you hate to earn fiat dollars. Work is important and money does pay the bills, however, so many people lose the best years of their lives doing things they hate, just for money. The truth about money today is that we do not have money, but instead, inflationary fiat currency that is privately owned and manipulated. Since it is still necessary to get by in this world, it is best that you get more value for your time by doing something you enjoy or by working with people you do not despise. It is easier than you may think to live on less money than we believe we need, we just have to be willing to go against the grain realize this.

5. You’re willing to accrue personal debt to fund the acquisition of a consumer oriented lifestyle. Each time a credit card is swiped it creates digits on the balance sheets of the banks that are most involved with the financial looting of the world today. These digits are then multiplied electronically by the fractional reserve system, which exponentially increases the power of these institutions. To participate in this, and by agreeing to pay this fake money back with interest, in order to maintain a certain lifestyle, is a strong indication that you are bound by one of the main tenets of the matrix –consumerism.

6. You converse with real people about the ongoing happenings of TV shows. TV is the most potent tool used for mind control, and the ‘programming’ that is available, while certainly cool, fun, or entertaining is geared to reinforce certain behaviours amongst the masses. Dramatizing the ego’s importance, over sexualizing everything, glorifying violence, and teaching submissiveness to phony authority are the main features of modern TV. By taking what is happening onscreen and making it a part of your real life, you are doing your job of supporting the matrix’s desire to confuse us about the nature of reality, proving that something doesn’t have to actually happen in order for it to feel real to people.

7. You don’t have anything to hide from total surveillance. If it does not bother you that someone, somewhere, working for somebody is watching you, listening to your conversations, and monitoring your movements, then, you are a good slave to the matrix. Invisible surveillance is an insidious form of thought control, and by using the logic of, ‘I have nothing to hide, therefore, it will do me no harm to be surveilled,’ then you are mindlessly admitting that you have an earthly master and are not of sovereign mind and body.

8. You think the world would be safer if only governments had guns. This is a violent world, and criminals engage in criminality against honest people at every level of society, including from within the government. Sure, in a perfect world, weapons wouldn’t be necessary for anyone but, sadly, our world is anything but perfect, and firearms are indeed a very effective form of protection against common criminals and abusive governments alike. The willingness to forego your right to self-defense is a sign that you’ve relegated personal responsibility to someone else. Having the masses abdicate personal responsibility is one of the most important aspects of controlling them. Welcome to the matrix.

9. You knowingly drink fluoridated water. Of all the health debates taking place today, the topic of fluoridated water is the easiest to understand, for it is a toxic by-product of an industrial process… poison. Water is supposedly fluoridated to aid in dental health, which is debatable in itself, but if this were so, then the involuntary fluoridation of public water is a medication without your consent… a form of slavery. Knowing this and continuing to drink fluoridated water is a sign that you’re content with your slavery to the matrix. Here are 18 scientifically validated reasons to end public water fluoridation.

10. You knowingly consume toxic poisons like MSG and Aspartame. These two chemicals are widely known to be toxic to the human body. Knowing this and continuing to poison yourself with tasty, but chemical-laden processed foods is a sign that the matrix has programmed you to place less value on your health and future than on your immediate gratification.

11. You depend on the pharmaceutical industrial complex for the management of your own mental health. The use of psychotropic medicines is rising rapidly in our society because people have been convinced that mental and emotional states can be classified as diseases, while the truth about natural mental health has been obfuscated by corporate media and a for-profit medical establishment. If you’re taking psychotropic medications, then you are under one of the most potent forms of mind control available. Part of this control is to convince you that you have no authority over your own mind. This is perhaps the matrix’s most terrible lie, and by willingly taking these psychotropic medications you are conforming to the worst kind of slavery, and inhibiting your natural mental and emotional responses to the life stressors that are signaling to you that you need to change your behaviour and habits.

12. You haven’t yet stopped watching your local and national news programming. The mainstream news media is a tool of control and manipulation, and by continuing to support their ideas and world views by giving them your attention you are volunteering to be a slave to this not-so-subtle form of mental programming. Even the local news is scripted at the national level by agents of the handful of corporations tasked with shaping our opinions of events.

13. You’re more concerned with televised sports or other mindless distractions than you are with the quality of your natural environment. The Deepwater HorizonAlberta Tar Sands, the rise of Fracking, the sacrifice of the Amazon, and Fukushima are all life-changing events that will severely impact our future on planet earth. To be unconcerned with all of this while tuning into a never-ending stream of sports trivia and distraction-based living is a sign that your sense of self-preservation has been stolen and replaced with an impulsive tendency for triviality and escapism.

14. You’re skeptical of any area of life that hasn’t been ‘proven’ or validated by modern science. The very essence of science is the enquiry into the unknown, implying that until science can grasp something, it is unexplainable. By discrediting or ridiculing experiences that other people have, which yet evade scientific understanding, like near-death experiences, acupuncture, or the life changing effects of Ayahuasca, then you are slavishly reducing your understanding of the world to a narrow range of possibilities. The matrix is made possible by the efforts of volunteer gatekeepers who are unwilling to think outside of the box.

15. You’ve never questioned the popularized version of ancient history and the origins of our civilization. There are many unanswered questions about the origins of the human race that point to a different version of human history than what is taught in school. Read 2o history questions they refuse to answer in school to discover some of the many ways in which our history has been hijacked. By never questioning what we’ve been told about our origin we are acquiescing to many of the imposed belief systems and narrow-banded views of human potential that the matrix promotes.

16. You haven’t yet realized that you are a spiritual being living a human experience. 

If you can relate to any of the items on this list, then the matrix has you, and it is now your duty to engage more deeply in your liberation.

If you’d like to add to or object to anything on this list, then please do so in the comments section below, and be sure to share this with your friends.

About the Author

Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he indulges in the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for mankind.

Credits: WakingTimes, where this was originally featured.





Can The Matrix Be Tested?

3 12 2013

As surely most of my readers would know or realise, I only use the notion of the Matrix as a metaphor for the unsustainable world “out there”…….  but have you ever wondered whether there was some possibility that the vision laid out in the Matrix movies could be real?

Could we be actually living simply in a computer simulation? A research project at the University of Washington, Seattle, went a step beyond the Matrix and looked at the possibility that we are not only living in a sim world created around us here on Earth, but also a simulated universe run by our descendants…..  sounds crazy?  Read on….A team of physicists claims to have come up with a test to determine whether such an assumption could be true. They based their work on a claims published in 2003, which state that at least one of three possibilities would be true:

1) The human species is likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage.
2) Any posthuman civilization is very unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history.
3) We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

Nick Bostrom, who published those beliefs ten years ago, also argued that “there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.”

The UW researchers said that we ultimately would have to be able to simulate the relationship between energy and momentum in special relativity at a scale of the universe to “understand the constraints on physical processes that would indicate we are living in a computer model.” The problem is that we are not even close to be able to simulate the universe. The largest supercomputers could only simulate nature “on the scale of one 100-trillionth of a meter, a little larger than the nucleus of an atom”, the researchers said. Eventually we would have to simulate a “large enough chunk” of the universe to figure out whether we live in a simulation or not.

In the movie, the action really begins when Neo is given a fateful choice: Take the blue pill and return to his oblivious, virtual existence, or take the red pill to learn the truth about the Matrix and find out “how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Physicists can now offer us the same choice, the ability to test whether we live in our own virtual Matrix, by studying radiation from space.  Cosmic rays are the fastest particles that exist, and they originate in far-flung galaxies.  They always arrive at Earth with a specific maximum energy of 1020 electron volts.  If there is a specific maximum energy for particles, then this gives rise to the idea that energy levels are defined, specific, and constrained by an outside force…….   Therefore, according to this research, if the energy levels of particles could be simulated, so too could the rest of the universe.

Even operating with the world’s most powerful supercomputers, simulations can only be done on a vanishingly small scale, which makes the maths pretty difficult. So, physicists as yet have only managed to simulate regions of space on the femto-scale.

Never heard of the prefix femto?  Me neither….  To put it in context, a femtometre is 10-15 metres – that’s a quadrillionth of a metre or 0.000000000001mm.

However, the main problem with all such simulations is that the law of physics have to be superimposed onto a discrete three-dimensional lattice which advances in time.  And that’s where the real test comes in.

So if it were true that we lived in sim world, at Universe scale rather than femtometre scale, then the very laws of physics that allow us to devise such reality-checking technology may not have much in common (to say the least!) with the fundamental rules that govern the meta-universe inhabited by ‘our simulators’.  To us, these programmers would be gods, able to twist reality on a whim.

So should we say yes to the offer to take the red pill and learn the truth — or are the implications too disturbing……?  I wonder what the simulators have in store for us……